Science Advances September 2019

Discontinuous spread of millet agriculture in eastern Asia and prehistoric population dynamics

Leipe C, Long T, Sergusheva EA, Wagner M, Tarasov PE

Although broomcorn and foxtail millet are among the earliest staple crop domesticates, their spread and impacts on demography remain controversial, mainly because of the use of indirect evidence. Bayesian modeling applied to a dataset of new and published radiocarbon dates derived from domesticated millet grains suggests that after their initial cultivation in the crescent around the Bohai Sea ca. 5800 BCE, the crops spread discontinuously across eastern Asia. Our findings on the spread of millet that intensified during [...]